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Best Washing Machines for 2024

 Best Washing Machines for 2024

Washing machine size 

The space you have available to accommodate a washing machine is the first consideration toward buying one. Most washing machines are between 24 and 29 inches wide, with variable depths that are typically between 24 and 34 inches. Capacity and size generally go hand-in-hand, with typical models offering you about 4.5 cubic feet of space for your textiles. Extra large capacity models are generally anything above 5 cubic feet, and if you’re working with a narrower space in your home, expect to find a washer that only has about 3 cubic feet of space or less. You may have to send out your large comforters and winter coats, but you’ll still be able to do average loads of laundry comfortably.

electrolux washing machine electrolux washing machine

I looked for intuitive controls and settings when evaluating washing machines.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Washing machine styles

Washing machines typically come as top-loading or front-loading models. Top-loading models tend to have larger capacities and utilize an agitator — a central column that moves your clothes around — to scrub your laundry. Front-loading models may have slightly less capacity and generally work with an impeller, which helps rotate your clothing around the basin so that the clothes rub up against each other for stain removal.

One Whirlpool model has a removable agitator for versatility and the potential of even extra capacity. Top-loading models can be a little easier on the back, as they require less bending to load and unload, but are not as readily available as stackable options with a dryer if you don’t have space to accommodate a washer and dryer side-by-side. Most washing machines come in white, black, or stainless steel finishes, with white generally being the least expensive option.

samsung washing machine samsung washing machine

Samsung’s WW9800T washing machine uses AI and big data to choose the right cycle for each load.


Washing machine cycles 

Even basic model washing machines tend to have at least normal, delicate, and heavy-duty cycles, which automatically adjust the heat, water level, and length of cycle settings. Some machines may have pre-set cycles for color loads versus white loads, and then there’s a reliable permanent press, which is typically a cycle setting for synthetic materials that are minimally wrinkly. More expensive and digital models tend to have a larger variety of cycle settings, including ones that are specific for bedding or towels, ones that use steam to manage allergens such as pet dander and dust or a sanitize cycle that can help manage mildewed items. You’ll typically be using the same couple of settings regularly, so keep that in mind when deciding how much money you want to spend on a washing machine.

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